Browns 32 Bengals 13
Much will be said and written about last night. The most succinct point I can offer is this: Last night can't happen. It just can't. Inexcusable.
The Browns beat the manhood out of the Bengals 32-13 and it was not as close as the final score would indicate. It felt like the end of Marvin era/start of Zac era.
The Bengals OL got handled. The Bengals DL got handled. The Bengals were outgained 440-229. The Browns had the ball for 13:20 longer than the Bengals, out rushing the Bengals 172-36.
Record 4-4, 0-3 in the AFC North. They have lost 5 straight to the Browns and 8 of 9. I can't stomach typing their primetime record.
Of greater significance is what all this means going forward: The Bengals are in major trouble and it appears Chido Awuzie suffered a season ending knee injury.
The Bengals have fallen behind by double digits in 4 of 5 road games: 25-0 Browns 17-3 Cowboys 10-0 Ravens 17-7 Saints.
The Bengals have lost to the following QBs this season: Jacoby Brissett, Cooper Rush, Mitch Trubisky. Still ahead: Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Tom Brady.
The Jamar Chase-less offense was inept....producing just 100 yards on 29 snaps in the first half and going scoreless into the 4th quarter. I'm sorry, that's unacceptable. It was amateurish and that starts with Zac Taylor.
Six first half drives: 3 punts, 2 turnovers, 1 missed FG......4 possessions into Cleveland territory = 0 points.
Joe Burrow dropped to 0-4 vs the Browns: 25 of 35, 232 yards, 2 TD, INT, 5 sacks, fumble, QB rating 96.4. He was under repeated pressure, had numerous balls tipped/batted and checked the ball down often. Only 11 of his 35 passes were directed at Tyler Boyd (5) or Tee Higgins (6). His opening drive pass was tipped and picked off. It was the third consecutive opening drive interception by Burrow vs the Browns...coming at the Cleveland 3, 2 and 27 yard line. Inexplicably, Zac Taylor had him in the game until the end. Myles Garrett recorded 1.5 sacks, raising his career total vs Burrow to 5.
1st half: 6 rushes for 19 yards.
T.O.P. by quarters: 9:45, 4:25, 4:40, 4:25.
Joe Mixon: 8 carries/27 yards (3.4) with 7 catches/32 yards on 9 targets. If he's going struggling to run the ball (not all his fault), struggle to pass block and drop passes and not make people miss, then what exactly is he offering?
Chris Evans split out and snagged a sweet 26 yard pass, but somehow was not heard from again....at all. Ever again.
Points scored vs Browns: Patriots 38, Jets 31....Bengals 13
WR/TE: Higgins 3 catches/49 yards including a late game, 41 yard, jump ball TD. Boyd: 3-38-TD. Hayden Hurst 4-42. Trent Taylor 1-1, Trenton Irwin 2-27, Mike Thomas 0/and a drop.
Jonah Williams had a really, really difficult night.
A defense that had not allowed a second half TD in the first seven games, allowed three straight second half TD drives Monday night.
They had 12 men on the field for the Browns first PAT attempt, leading to the Browns opting for/converting a 2-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.
Late in the game they had 10 players on the field for snap on one play and 12 men on the field on the next snap.
Brissett had completions of 27, 29, 20, 53, 29, 18 in posting a QB rating of 133.7. Wait, what?
Nick Chubb: 23-101 (4.4), 2 TD.....his 8th 100 yard game vs Bengals (7-1).
In addition to losing Awuzie and already being without Eli Apple, Tre Flowers also injured his hamstring. The secondary was forced to play both Cam Taylor Brit (71 of 72 snaps) and Dax Hill (20) and both struggled. CTB gambled and lost on an early 37-yard completion to Donovan Peoples-Jones. Hill had to move over to play corner. At one point he appeared not to be ready for the snap when Cooper ran past him for a spectacular 53-yard sliding catch.
Vonn Bell picked off Cooper's opening drive double-reverse/pass attempt for his 4th INT of the season, tied for the NFL lead.
Akeem Davis-Gaither came up with a fumble recovery. Jessie Bates had a team-high 10 tackles. Logan Wilson returned to play all 72 snaps, the only defender to take every snap.
Kevin Huber had punts of 23 and averaged just 34.0 net. Feels like it is Drue Chrisman time.
Evan McPherson missed a 44 yard field goal and an extra point.
Long snapper Cal Adomitis continues to struggle with on-target snaps....it's like he's playing Tic Tac Toe with snaps.
BJ Hill blocked a FG on the opening drive.
Big sequence at the time: Trailing 8-0 with :44 left the half, McPherson missed a 44-yard FG and Cody York then connected on a 55-yarder to make it 11-0. The Browns got the ball to begin the 2nd half and three straight TD drives followed.